The Trump administration on Tuesday issued a sweeping new gun control regulation to ban bump stocks, which harness the recoil energy from semi-automatic rifles to increase the firearms’ rate of fire. The regulation was issued 14 months following the mass shooting at a country music festival in Las Vegas in which 58 people were killed and hundreds more were injured. It was the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history.
The shooter, who killed himself before police were able to take him into custody, added bump stocks to several of his rifles. Critics of the devices, including the Trump administration, claim that bump fire stocks illegally convert semi-automatic rifles, which are legal for civilians to possess, into fully automatic machine guns, which are not legal for civilians to possess absent explicit permission from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE). The new rule makes bump stocks illegal and turns their owners into felons if they do not destroy their bump stocks or surrender them to BATFE officials within the next 90 days.
The new rule represents the most sweeping federal gun control effort since the so-called assault weapons ban, which was passed in 1994 and expired in 2003. Even the Obama administration, which was overtly hostile to Second Amendment rights, rejected the logic of Trump’s bump stock ban.